Angry Delhiites take rape protest to PM's residence
Five-year-old victim’s condition improves
Hundreds of demonstrators raised slogans against the government and police on Sunday here in protest against the recent rape of a five-year-old girl.
Protesters broke barricades outside the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the evening.
Reviving memories of massive demonstrations following the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman merely four months ago, political activists and citizens staged fierce protests demanding strict action against police officers who tried to hush up the matter by offering money to the five-year-old victim’s father.
The protesters also demanded the resignation of Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Activists from the Aam Aadmi Party, BJP, CPI, the CPM and various students’ and women’s organisations held demonstrations outside police headquarters, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India Gate and the residences of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Protests continued throughout the day at various places. Activists gathered near Sonia Gandhi’s residence in the afternoon and were “asked to leave,” following which they courted arrest.
Sparse protests were also witnessed at the prime minister’s residence on Race Course Road in the evening. Those protesting outside police headquarters were intercepted at the ITO intersection when they also tried to march towards Race Course Road.
Students representing various youth organisations protested at the India Gate.
Meanwhile, doctors at AIIMS said the victim had shown signs of improvement and in two weeks she would be discharged “depending on the progress of her recovery.”
“She has undergone colostomy procedure and surgical care of perineal injuries,” said D K Sharma, medical superintendent. The doctors treating her said she slept well on Saturday night.
While the victim recuperates, the investigators are grilling the accused, Manoj Kumar, who was arrested in his in-laws’ house in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur on Saturday and was brought to Delhi.
“He confessed to keeping her captive and indulging in the heinous crime,” said a senior police officer.
The accused kidnapped the victim on April 15. After committing the crime, assuming her to be dead, left for his village the same day leaving the victim in the lurch.
The allegation levelled by the victim’s father that police officials tried to offer him Rs 2,000 to hush up the matter received widespread criticism leading to massive protests against the police.
Police headquarters had already ordered the suspension of three senior cops, including the officer who slapped a 17-year-old woman protester. A vigilance inquiry has commenced.
Hunt on for second accused
A day after 22-year-old Manoj Kumar — who brutally raped a five-year-old girl living in his neighbourhood — was arrested in Bihar and brought to the national capital, police have found the involvement of another accused, DHNS reports from New Delhi.
Manoj Kumar told police that he and a friend consumed alcohol on April 15 morning, and his friend, in an inebriated condition, asked Kumar to “arrange a call girl for fun”. Seeing the five-year-old girl playing outside their room, they lured her with a pack of chocolates and took turns to sexually assault her.
They tried to strangle her. Assuming that she had died, both of them left for possible hideouts.
The second accused is from Loni in Ghaziabad. Raids are being conducted at various places to arrest him. Kumar will be in police custody for 14 days.